It's a trap! Cup champion Penguins wary of stingy Senators

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First, the Washington Capitals will host the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 action in Washington at 6:30pm EST. He had five goals and three assists in 13 playoff games as the Capitals flamed out again, eliminated in seven games by the defending Stanley Cup-champion Penguins. Fleury saved his best for when it mattered most, recording a 29-save shutout in a 2-0 triumph over Washington in Game 7 of the second-round series to improve his goals-against average (.255) and save percentage (.927).

A very different challenge awaits in the Eastern Conference final in what amounts to the hockey equivalent of switching from boxing to MMA. However, the Senators were unable to keep pace with the Rangers in Games 3 and 4 at Madison Square Garden, recording a pair of 4-1 losses, and twice needed overtime to seal road wins against Boston in the first round.

Rather than pound away like the Blue Jackets and Capitals tried to do against the Penguins, Ottawa would rather get in Pittsburgh's head.

"They're a great team", superstar center Sidney Crosby said. Erik Karlsson is playing at a ridiculous level and the Senators balanced attack should serve them well.

There are myriad other issues that are cited for why the Sens don't seem to be top of mind in the city, including their suburban arena, the price of tickets, repeated playoff efforts that fizzled - even the Phoenix pay system fiasco, which left some federal civil servants underpaid or not paid at all and unable to pay for a game.

"No one's picking us for sure", Ottawa forward Clarke MacArthur said. They're getting excellent goaltending from Pekka Rinne (league-leading.951 save % so far), the defence has been fantastic at getting involved offensively and limiting the production of the opponent and the depth up front has been on display. Just don't mistake the joy that spilled onto the ice after beating the Rangers in six games with satisfaction. The main thing is we've got to focus on what we've got to do be successful.

And getting ready to battle Karlsson, who will be on the ice nearly every time he is if the Senators have their way.

Less than 72 hours later, they'll begin the next step in becoming the first team in almost 20 years to repeat with the opener on Saturday night. "In Ottawa, we're so nice when the light gets red, we (usually) get out of the way", Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said during the team's off-day on Thursday.

It makes sense that Subban and Mattias Ekholm were involved in the game-winner, as Nashville's defense factored into key parts of Game 1.

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Karlsson has been playing despite a hairline fracture in his foot and practiced only a few minutes Friday by design. It's hardly slowed him down. In 20 games, he has 14 goals, 19 assists and 33 points. "The way he skates and the vision he has, it's really impressive".

Pittsburgh nearly blew a 3-1 series lead to the Capitals but went into Washington and shutout the Capitals 2-0.

"I talked to (Russia's coach) and just said I'm not able to help the team", Ovechkin added.

Afterwards, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said Crosby was a "whiner" who should be suspended "for a long time" for the infraction.

Ultimately, the Predators were too much for the Ducks on Friday.

"Right now it's about Pittsburgh and Ottawa, our team against their team", Methot said. "He's still a pretty productive player for us".

Ottawa had its own unique goaltending situation during the season, with Craig Anderson and Mike Condon splitting duties during a hard year that saw Anderson take time off to be with his wife Nicholle as she undergoes treatment for throat cancer. Meanwhile, her husband and his upstart team are drawing strength from her fight. "Guys have been so resilient this year".

"It's something really hard to put your finger on because if there was one clear answer or smoking-gun reason for the attendance issues this season, I believe the hockey club would have addressed it".

Speedy winger Carl Hagelin practiced, but he has been hampered by a lingering lower-body injury and sat out Game 7 against Washington.

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